Steve Mistler

Chief Political Correspondent and State House Bureau Chief

Steve has been a journalist for nearly two decades, specializing in the coverage of politics and state government. His work has been recognized by the Maine Press Association and the New England Newspaper and Press Association for investigative projects and accountability journalism. He was named the MPA’s Journalist of the Year in 2011 for his coverage of municipal government for The Forecaster in Falmouth and, later, for his coverage of state government for the Sun Journal in Lewiston.

Steve became the state house bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram in 2012. After four years with Maine’s largest daily newspaper, Steve made the leap to radio journalism, joining Maine Public in May 2016.

Steve is married with one child and has two crazy dogs. His family lives in Brunswick.

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The Maine Supreme Court has appeared to clear the way for a first of its kind election. The court Tuesday removed the final roadblock to implementing ranked-choice voting for the June primaries. Ranked-choice advocates say the court's opinion will preempt the kind of legal challenges that have followed the law ever since voters enacted it nearly two years ago. But others warn that additional litigation looms.

Toby Talbot / Associated Press

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court says the nation’s first statewide ranked-choice voting election can go forward in the June primaries.

Some low-income parents in Maine could soon get help paying for higher education costs. 

The $2.1 million bill became law Tuesday after receiving broad bipartisan support, although it went unsigned by Gov. Paul LePage.

As a result, parents in households earning 185 percent or less of the federal poverty level - or $46,000 a year for a family of four - could receive funds to pay for post-secondary education programs in specific fields, such as health care, technology and engineering.

Steve Mistler / Maine Public

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court held oral arguments Thursday in a rare case that could determine whether Maine's ranked-choice voting system will be used in the June primary. The expedited hearing was in response to a request by Maine Senate Republicans that the court halt state implementation of the new voting system. But during a 35-minute hearing, nearly all seven justices appeared skeptical of the Republicans' arguments, and some wondered why the court was asked to solve a problem that Legislature wouldn't, or couldn't.

Steve Mistler / Maine Public

There’s a new development in the saga over Maine’s landmark ranked-choice voting law: Superior Court Judge Michaela Murphy is recommending that the Maine Supreme Judicial Court review whether state election officials have the authority to implement the voting system for the June primary elections.

Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press

The Legislature’s second attempt to setup the market and regulatory system for the retail sale of recreational marijuana is already faring better than its first.

Courtesy Grohman campaign

Marty Grohman, an independent state representative from Biddeford, announced Tuesday that he's running for the 1st Congressional District seat currently held by Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree.

Grohman, a businessman and second-term legislator in the House, unenrolled from the Democratic party last year.

Grohman said he's running to become a voice of reason in a Congress paralyzed by partisan gridlock.

AP Photo

It was a chaotic week for those attempting to follow developments of Maine's ranked-choice voting law. And it's still unclear how all of this is going to shake out.

Political correspondent Steve Mistler joined Nora Flaherty on Maine Things Considered to get us up to date and tell us how we got here.

Max Linn campaign

The Secretary of State says Republican U.S. Senate candidate Max Linn has enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, even though more than 200 of them were ruled invalid, including several of people who are dead. 

The findings followed a challenge filed by the campaign of state Sen Eric Brakey, a Republican hoping to unseat independent U.S. Sen Angus King in the fall.

The Maine Legislature moved closer Thursday to approving $6.6 million bill to fight a deadly opioid crisis that claimed the lives over 400 Mainers last year. Both the House and Senate have given initial approval to the bill that would direct treatment funding to those without insurance.

Democrats in the Maine House have held off a Republican bid to slow down the minimum wage increase passed by voters nearly two years ago – at least for now.

The original bill would have cut the yearly increase in the minimum wage that was ratified in 2016, while also cutting the current rate of $10 an hour to $9.50 come June 1. But the proposal was amended to eliminate the proposed wage cut while implementing a 50-cent per year increase to replace the one-dollar increases in current law.

A proposal designed to remedy Republican objections to implementing Maine's landmark ranked-choice voting law has died after a tie vote in the Maine Senate.

The Republican-led Senate is currently suing the secretary of state because it says it doesn't have the authority, or the funding, to set up the system for the June primary elections.

During Thursday's floor debate, Republican Sen. Roger Katz, of Augusta, said the legal complaint raises constitutional issues that could be headed to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

A Superior Court judge has ruled that state election officials should continue implementing Maine's landmark ranked-choice voting law for the June primary elections. The ruling, by Kennebec Superior Court Judge Michaela Murphy, is a victory for supporters of the voting system, who have been battling with lawmakers in the courts and in the Legislature ever since voters approved ranked-choice nearly two years ago. But the legal battle is far from over.

thestoredsolar.com

The Maine Public Utilities Commission voted Wednesday to approve a $1.2 million taxpayer subsidy to an embattled biomass company operating two plants in West Enfield and Jonesboro.

Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

Amid a national debate over gun violence, Maine lawmakers are being asked to grapple with a difficult question: If someone is deemed by a judge to be a danger to themselves and to others, should police be able to temporarily confiscate their guns?

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